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New House, New Landscaping Rules?

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Sacramento, CA — On the agenda for the California Water Commission Wednesday is to consider an update to the state’s model landscape ordinance. Sprinklers and lawns are the focus of the discussion, which could change the rules and impact more homeowners. The proposal calls for water limits on new sprinkler systems and landscapes for residential and commercial properties. The plan is to require more shrubs, coupled with less grass and fewer sprinklers.

The changes would not apply to existing homes. However, the new rules would affect older homeowners, if making major renovations that require permits.

Already this year, the state updated its building standards to reduce lawn watering. Governor Jerry Brown initially ordered the landscape ordinance due to the drought, which mandates that local governments must adopt it or a similar local law by year’s end.